From that point forward, it didn’t take long to get involved in church and school activities, Booster Club, Chamber of Commerce, Mainstreet, city government, community betterment activities to name a few….countless opportunities to meet more people, build relationships, make a difference.
And I think that’s where we’re at today…introducing to others ways to get involved, to assist in finding opportunities to meet their needs, to communicate well between entities, to come together to share our ideas on how to make Centerville a “destination,” whether that might be to visit, shop or to live, work, play, worship and raise families, then to put those ideas into action.
As most rural communities, we’ve certainly had our share of ups and downs. But it’s our true grit and determination that prevails and prevents us from ever giving up. It’s been said that history repeats itself. Whether inside or outside of city government, I have watched the pendulum swing both ways over 20 year cycles. During high periods of growth, much progress in infrastructure and economic development has occurred. Today we stand at that critical point in time to move this community forward! But before we can move Centerville forward, let’s take a look back in recent history.
I put out an appeal for others to share what makes Centerville special to them. I have heard from visitors, former residents and current residents. Many have lauded, “It’s the people.” Some have pointed out iconic establishments such as Raymond’s and Double R and George n’ Nick’s, the Blue Bird and numerous others. Others have heralded the architecture in and around the historic square district and down Drake Avenue, the museum, homes, churches and other structures worthy of preserving their integrity.
I’ve witnessed out-of-towners who chose Centerville to invest in and renovate houses while living here and choosing to call this “home,” all the while expressing their awe for the freedom and for feeling safe in their new neighborhood setting.